Posts Tagged 'Brooklyn'

Brooklyn’s Pine Woods


Flight Sluggish and Swift

bombusOn a blooming goldenrod, the only visible flower around, a single bumblebee. It was warm enough yesterday for invertebrates, but they have damn few places to feed. This bee did seem a little sluggish, but it was roused by the proximity of my phone camera, and buzzed a short distance away, and then returned as soon as I retreated. (But what are those running down the wire fence, eggs?) waspThis wasp, too, was moving slowly, practically crawling along the sidewalk.

But here was something moving swiftly: a small bird being chased by a Common Raven. At first, I thought it must be a Kestrel, a species I’ve seen go after much bigger birds over its territory; sometimes the tables are turned and the larger bird chases away the little falcon. But binoculars revealed the bird here to be a pigeon. And a second raven joined in the chase. (This must be the pair I’ve seen here since the beginning of the year.) I’ve never seen ravens go after prey before; generally, they are scavengers and carrion-eaters. The chase was dramatic enough to stop a soccer game as the players watched the aerial acrobatics. The pigeon shot into an open-air staircase in the old warehouse, and the ravens followed it in, as if they were all flying into tunnel. After a few minutes, no more than five, the ravens emerged. Had they caught and eaten the bird in that time? Was it squab for Thanksgiving? That didn’t seem like enough time, but then I don’t know how ravens would eat a fresh bird. Raptors pluck away feathers with their down-curved bills and then rip up pieces of flesh with same, but ravens don’t have such bills. Well, whatever happened in there, it was thrilling as always to see these huge corvids, toughing it out in a non-traditional landscape.

Mushroom Monday




No Filter But The Leaves

Quercus albaThe sun is behind the brown and purple leaves of this White Oak, making some magic.

Metasequoia Cone

Metasequoia glyptostroboidesCone of the Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), which is more rectangular than the ball-shaped fruit of the similar looking tree, the Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum). I bought one of the Baldy fruits home to photograph, too, but it fell into its constituent pieces in my bag, each heady with resin. They are put together like 3-D jigsaw puzzles, while these Metasequoia cones open up like this (also in my bag) to release their seeds. Eventually, it will dry to a nice brown color.

Tree Woods

salixAn enormous weeping willow (Salix) on 6th Avenue in Park Slope.


pine2On a wet day.pine1


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  • watched two episodes of LIfe of Birds with Attenborough, showered a second time… and now ready to bed. Before 9. 3 hours ago
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